The Importance Of Knowing Your Heart Rate – Alex Issa

Alex Issa – @AlexIssaFitness

In today’s age of technology, we have the ability to know what our heart rate is at any time.  This is extremely vital to know when doing any form of exercise, especially cardio.  We often hear the misconception that we need to get our heart rate up as high as possible to burn the most calories and get our body ready for the beach. That is partially correct.  Yes, the goal is to get your heart rate up, but there is a certain range that is best to help you burn fat and not lose your muscle. 

If cardio wasn’t bad enough, there is a possibility that getting your heart rate too high up that it can burn your hard earned muscle.  I am here to save you from that ever happening.

I believe the best target heart zone to stay in to burn fat is 65-80% of your max heart rate.  It is important that you stay in this range if the main goal is to burn fat.  If you were to go any higher, unless specified for sport, then you will use muscle as a fuel for energy.  If you start using muscle as a source of energy, your metabolism will decrease, which will lead to an increase with body fat.  

After sharing this information with my clients and new gym members, the most popular question I get asked is how do I determine that specific heart rate zone? Let me walk you through this process:

  1. Calculate your max heart rate.
    1. Two equations that I have used are:
      1. 220-age = Max Heart Rate
      2. 220 – (Age x .64) = Max Heart Rate
  2. Calculate your target heart rate zone.
    1. Max Heart Rate x .65 / Max Heart Rate x .8 

After following these steps, you should now have your target heart rate zone to burn fat.  It is important that if you are doing cardio to monitor your heart rate during it.  Most cardio equipment these days have heart rate monitors on them, but I’d stick with either a FitBit or counting your heart rate manually.  Ask a trainer at your gym to show you how! 

I hope this article helps show you the importance of knowing your heart rate! If you know anyone that this could benefit this beach season, show them this article! 

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